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American Born Chinese (Essay Sample)


Conduct a book analysis and relate it to the course material


American Born Chinese
Institutional Affiliation
Religion experience is one that affects civilization process by shaping laws and morals of a culture by providing popular ways through which our society functions. Culture comes from religion as religion is supposed to unite individuals of various different cultures together while giving them a meaning to existence. Basically, religion can have either a positive or negative effect on the cultures. American society is one that represents a multicultural community which can be a recipe for numerous religious conflicts due to difficulties in their assimilation.
The book, American Born Chinese is one that clearly demonstrates the importance of religion in creating and sustaining civilization. It reveals that the ancient American`s religion is part of and holds with contempt contemporary western culture (Yang & Pien, 2007). The book establishes how the American religion is struggling with self-acceptance, loss of identity and lack of recognition and in its attempt to solve them has lost control.
Religion is best captured in the story of the Monkey king, A Christianized Buddhist tale famous with the Chinese, who Insist he`s a god even after (God) Tze-Yo-Tzuh tell him otherwise. The monkey king is symbolic commentary on Jin Wang`s desire to assimilate to the American culture. The Monkey king was the king of all the monkeys; He is respected and looked at as a god on his island. However, the king struggles with self-acceptance and he is not content by being just a king despite the fact that he reigns over Flower Mountain. He even contemplates on ways to change his appearance to something other than a Monkey.
The story of the monkey king indicates the growing interest in spirituality in relation to religion in American society. Despite monkey king having ruled for thousands of years, mastering all the heavenly disciplines he yearns to become a god and leave the monkey behind (Yang & Pien, 2007). People are trying to seek meaning for their life’s hence the shift from religion to spirituality.
The monkey king smells the aroma of dinner which he loved and so he leaves his kingdom to go and attend the party for all the gods. It is then that he realizes that by everyone else he is looked up as a dirty monkey and thus they had no respect for him. In a fit of anger and disappointment he beat all the other god and goddess at the party.
The above story clearly demonstrates American religion struggling with its identity and looking to be recognized and respected by other religions .Just as the monkey king seek to be more than a king and wanted to be recognized as a deity can best illustrate how the American region has lost its identity and want to be recognized. The experience is that of seeking recognition and approval from society and governments.
Religion diversity is another religion experience in American society due to its multicultural society accompanied by the new wave of immigrants. The growing diversity continues to have varied impact on communities and culture (Yang & Pien, 2007). In the book, the story of Jin Wang`s born into an immigrant family that live in San Francisco and that of Chin-Kee who use to visits his cousin Danny in American every other year clearly captures religious diversity that is common in the present American Today.
Jin`s experience at school where his classmate don’t understand and appreciated his cultural background to the extent of making fun of him and the food he eats can signify numerous religious conflicts in America today. Due to racial discrimination that Jin faced he slowly becomes isolated and alone. Similarly, Danny who is everything that Jin wanted to be, has a typical conflict with his cousin Chin-Kee; stereotype Chinese, whom he is not proud of and want to hide him away and pretend he doesn`t exist to protect his reputation. American religion experience is that which is dominated by religious conflict due to different worldviews and different cultural background characterized by various denominations (Yang & Pien, 2007).
The book reveals an experience of the religion struggling w...
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